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Cannibalism case jury may have to come from another county

The jury that will hear the murder trial of a southern Indiana man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body may have to come from another county to avoid depleting the jury pool during another high-profile trial.

Posted: Jun 29, 2020 8:08 AM

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — The jury that will hear the murder trial of a southern Indiana man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body may have to come from another county to avoid depleting the jury pool during another high-profile trial.

Attorneys for Joseph Oberhansley, 39, and prosecutors are expected to report back to a Clark County judge within days on whether the jurors should come from a different county, or if his trial set to start Sept. 8 should be postponed, the News and Tribune reported.

Oberhansley is accused of killing and mutilating his ex-girlfriend, 46-year-old Tammy Jo Blanton, in Jeffersonville in 2014.

He was set to go stand trial last August with a jury drawn from central Indiana’s Hamilton County, but a mistrial was declared during the first day of testimony after a state’s witness spoke of things that attorneys had previously agreed would not be mentioned to the jury.

Attorneys tried to select a new jury drawn from Hamilton County, but they found that due to media coverage of the crime's gruesome nature many of those potential jurors already knew details of the case.

Clark County Circuit Court Judge Vicki Carmichael later agreed that the jurors would be selected from St. Joseph County, in northern Indiana, due in part to its distance from the media markets of southern Indiana, Indianapolis and Louisville, Kentucky.

But Carmichael said during a Thursday attorneys meeting held via Zoom that St. Joseph County has another high-profile case of its own there within a week of Oberhansley’s scheduled trial and the court doesn’t want to deplete that county's jury pool.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 155246

Reported Deaths: 4065
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion25151785
Lake13570355
St. Joseph9145161
Elkhart8759135
Allen8129228
Hamilton6117113
Vanderburgh576760
Tippecanoe369515
Hendricks3268133
Monroe325738
Porter313649
Johnson3105128
Clark293961
Delaware293274
Vigo260538
Madison235093
Cass224022
LaPorte222858
Warrick192965
Kosciusko182625
Floyd179167
Howard162466
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Marshall137426
Wayne126930
Henry125429
Grant125339
Boone122250
Hancock118245
Noble115933
Jackson112915
Dearborn94928
Morgan93740
Lawrence87436
Daviess87133
Gibson87111
Clinton84716
Shelby81730
LaGrange80115
Harrison76224
Knox75610
Putnam72816
Posey7146
DeKalb71011
Fayette66618
Steuben6278
Miami6095
Jasper5945
White58515
Montgomery58322
Greene53337
Scott51813
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Adams4837
Whitley4556
Clay4467
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Sullivan43714
Wells4288
Wabash4119
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Huntington3905
Spencer3906
Washington3753
Franklin37225
Jennings36713
Fulton3523
Randolph3529
Jefferson3415
Pike33018
Carroll32513
Perry31014
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Ohio1297
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